Wow, the time is flying by! I can't believe I'll be leaving the country so soon. It will be my first international trip. I'm both excited and nervous.
Donations have been coming in nicely and I almost have everything ready to go. Thanks to everyone who has contributed to my journey! It really is such a blessing! I'll keep you all posted.
I'm super excited. One of my friends just sent me a nice size box of newborn onesies. I can start putting together my mama/baby packages now.
I have a list of supplies that I'm collecting for my trip. Please help spread the word.
small toothpaste tubes
gloves (sterile and non-sterile)
1 and 2 inch gauze rolls
syringes (any size)
If you need an address to send any of these items to, please email me.
It is our experience that there is a real crisis of education among the matrons in SÃ©nÃ©gal, who deliver the vast majority of babies. They spend six months in practical training in a local clinic and are then often posted to more rural outposts. During this time they follow and learn from the other matrons and sage-femmes, but they have no academic component to their education. The result is generally an unclear understanding of the anatomy and physiology involved in birth. They are taught "protocol", which is based on outdated Western medical practices such as extreme fundal pressure, supine delivery positions with stirrups, standard pitocin drips, placental extractions and routine postpartum methergine shots. They are not taught problem solving techniques that facilitate good management decisions or allowed to incorporate traditional methods or alternative positions. There is currently no system of peer review in place, and they do not use charts to document the woman's labor progress or communicate with other matrons. The sage-femme who heads the clinic is responsible for all the women who come in and is on call 24 hours a day for complications. She has very little time to train the new matrons in special skills or theory. The cumulative effect is that Senegal has one of the highest infant mortality rates in the world: 79 deaths per 1000 live births (World Bank 2002).
African Birth Collective
I received my Wolof book in the mail today. Wolof is the primary language spoken in the area of Senegal that I'll be visiting. I'm excited to be learning a new language and discovering the ways of a different culture!
Thanks so much you guys, for kicking off the fundraising!!! Every little bit is very appreciated!
The pharmacies often are in shortage of the medications needed in stock.
Here is a photo from one of the clinics that the African Birth Collective assists in Senegal.
African Birth Collective Interview with Ami Diam in Senegal West Africa in March 2007 discussing the impact of the Midwifery Exchange Programs.
Midwives play crucial role in reducing deaths during
Every year 358,000 women and 3.6 million newborn babies die due to largely preventable
complications during pregnancy, childbirth and the postnatal period. In
addition, every year, nearly 3 million babies are stillborn. Most of these
deaths occur in low-income countries and happen because women "“ often poor and
marginalized "“ have no access to functioning health facilities or to qualified
health professionals, notably midwives and others with midwifery skills. "“World
It has been a long time dream of mine to travel abroad, and offer assistance to communities in need. I'm going to Mboro, Senegal in November 2012, with The African Birth
Collective. I will be there for four weeks, assisting women prenatally,
during labor, and during the postpartum period. My intention is to be
of service to these women, and learn from them and their culture. As well as, offer some of the knowledge I have gained throughout my midwifery studies.
I first discovered my passion for midwifery in 2004. My studies officially began in the spring of 2007, at Birthingway College of Midwifery.
I'm in the final phases of completing my Bachelors of Science in
Midwifery. I'm feeling
ready for the next step, fulfilling my international midwifery dreams!
What will your donations go towards?
The donations received will go towards the cost of my tuition ($3,500). Tuition covers my plane ticket, room/board, and some supplies. I will also be gathering additional supplies, as there is always a great need for them. Supplies needed: gloves, baby hats, newborn clothes, blankets, socks, basic instruments, suture material, medications and herbal remedies.
Thank you in advance for considering donating to the safe care of mothers and babies in Africa! I believe every mother/family deserves the option of quality, loving, respectful care.
If you would like to learn more about the organization I'll be volunteering for visit, http://www.africanbirthcollective.org/.
If you wish to donate to me privately, contact me at http://firstname.lastname@example.org.